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Make The Connection

Networking opportunities are everywhere. Don't let them pass you by.

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This story appears in the July 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Those of us who spend a lot of time on airplanes know that whoever fills the next seat is pretty much the luck of the draw. In fact, you rarely know who you're going to sit next to, whether it's on a plane, at a banquet or even in your dentist's waiting room. But one thing's for sure: These people are an important captive audience you shouldn't ignore.

Not that many years ago, I was a networking nerd. I allowed my insecurities--and just plain laziness--to keep me from seeing the potential in every social situation. But I learned from a wise and gracious gentleman that you should always put on your best face because you never know who might be sitting next to you. His take on networking: It's nothing more than orchestration and good manners.

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